Woman earns praise, rouses shock for rescuing giant spider during flood
A woman from Australia performed an act that many wouldn’t dare: save a tarantula during a flood.
Queensland resident Andrea Gofton shared a video of a large spider clinging on to a branch for dear life, trying not to fall into the gushing water.
Thanks to her kind spirit, the spider is now on higher ground. She wrote in her caption: “My excitement for the day…saved a spider.”
My excitement for the day…saved a spider😊 Andrew Giliberto
Posted by Andrea Gofton on Saturday, March 10, 2018
The video shows Gofton’s outstretched hand near the spider; she explains in the comments that it was to compare its size. Since the tarantula refused to budge, she and a companion carried the branch to transfer it to a nearby avocado tree.
Netizens identified the tarantula species as a whistling spider — named so because of the hissing sound it makes — which is native to North Queensland.
But not everyone supported the act.
“It can stay there,” said one commenter, while others even told Gofton she should have killed the creature.
There were those who were grateful. “You guys did a wonderful thing,” said another commenter.
“Thanks for saving the poor thing, the world needs more people like you,” said another Facebook user. “It is sad that so many fools would have killed it out of sheer ignorance and fear.”
According to Daily Mail Australia, Minibeast Wildlife spider expert Alan Henderson estimates that the tarantula was between 10 to 15 years old. Tarantulas live in a burrow and this one must have scuttled out as the floods rose, said Henderson.
The Queensland Museum website states that their bite is fatal to cats and dogs but not to humans. It eats large insects, reptiles such as lizards, amphibians and even small mammals.
But spiders are the least of locals’ worries: the Queensland Environment Department has warned of crocodiles and snakes in the flood. Crocodile sightings have been reported on social media.
Radio station 4BC reports that North Queensland was declared a disaster zone after it experienced days of flooding; at its peak, the floodwaters reached 14.75 meters (48 feet). Recovery has begun as floods have subsided. JB
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